Southern Greece Fires Close Highways

August 9, 2012

Wildfires raging in southern Greece for a second day have forced highway closures in the country’s Peloponnese region.

Police and the Fire Service said the closures were ordered Wednesday outside the cities of Megalopolis and Corinth, pushing traffic onto smaller roads. At least five firefighting planes were operating in the area.

The worst fire was near Megalopolis, 230 kilometers (145 miles) southwest of Athens, and burned more than 2,700 hectares (6,670 acres) of forest and farmland.

Several villages evacuated in that area Tuesday and six people injured – two residents with burns, and four firefighters with breathing difficulties.

Fires were also reported Wednesday on the Aegean Sea island of Kos and Orthodox Christian monastic sanctuary of Mount Athos, in northern Greece.

Wildfires often strike Greece during dry summer months.

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